RELAX and Enjoy! See You Soon.
|Massage Clarksville By DC Royalty, LMT||
I hope 2017 will be all you wish for!
RELAX and Enjoy! See You Soon.
Many people wait for an injury in their life to seek out massage therapy. Those that have car accidents are a typical example, wanting relief from whiplash and other accident related injuries.
Massage therapy is an excellent choice to assist you in healing from a car accident. After an accident, people are most likely to feel like they have the flu or describe the symptoms as feeling like they got hit by a car. Weakness in the neck may also be felt due to whiplash. Whiplash is the sudden jerking of the head, backward and forward, that is felt during impact of the vehicle. The symptoms: pain and aching to the neck and/or back, pain in the shoulders, pins and needles to the extremities (arms and legs), and headaches. The symptoms may be felt immediately or not show up for several days. The precise mechanism of whiplash is not known but it is thought to be caused by stretching and possibly tearing of the ligaments of the spine.
Massage can be very beneficial in treatment of this injury. Often times, clients are referred to a therapist by a chiropractor or other medical provider for a certain number of massage therapy sessions. A safe environment for auto accident clients is extremely important. Sometimes their life is turned upside down by this injury and they are unable to live their life as normal, which in itself can be quite stressful.
A therapist who attends to a client with any type of accident related injuries will assess the areas of injury for range of motion, elasticity and pain tolerance. The therapist should always be aware of the restrictions in their movements and also the tenderness of the areas to be massaged. This is where the communication factor comes in. They will constantly check to ensure that they are within your comfort boundaries. Communication from the client is also paramount to the success of the massage.
Massage helps with these types of injuries due to the fact that it increases circulation (blood supply) to an area thereby giving it the nutrients it needs to heal properly and rids the area of waste products. It can also increase range of motion, reduce sprain and swelling, reduce stress, and may help to prevent scar tissue. It can help your body regain its balance from the stress of the accident by balancing your autonomic nervous system, thereby reducing stress. I have been on both sides of the “table” so to speak as a therapist and a car accident victim. I was in a car that was rear ended in 2005 and had whiplash which resulted in devastating headaches. I also had lower back pain and referred shoulder and arm pain.
I immediately began a regiment of chiropractic adjustments as well as 2 visits to a massage therapist per week. I had a wonderful therapist and she was always very empathetic as well as patient with me during our time together. She was always careful to ask about my pain level in each and every area that she touched. I was unsure of massage as I had never had it when I was in a healthy state. Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical of being touched in an injured state. It was one of the most wonderful experiences that I have gone through to date. There’s something about a caring person with amazing skills and a gentle touch to soothe an injured, stressed muscle. Gradually I began to see results and looked forward to my sessions with my therapist. No wonder the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans included massage in their daily life!
Massage so fascinated me that I went to massage school and became a therapist. Now I not only have the benefit of getting massages but also giving them. I enjoy seeing the progress that my clients make as a result of our work together.
The bottom line is that if you have had an injury of any type; please seek out a qualified massage therapist so that together you can regain your balance. If you don’t know of one, ask your medical provider or your friends and neighbors who have had massages. The calm and healing that it will have on your body will be most beneficial to both your mind and your body.
By Cecilia Comperatore LMT-Florida MA 54038
Bob Carter |
Today’s health benefits plans are under pressure. Our labour force is changing. Based on data compiled in 2015 by Statistics Canada, 46 per cent of today’s active workforce are millennials, 30 per cent are Generation X and the baby boomers count for a shrinking 24 per cent of workers today. Plan sponsors are facing new challenges in ensuring their plans are meeting their employees’ needs today and in the future. More importantly, it may be time to disrupt the very nature of benefits plan designs and the continual adversarial game of catchup at renewal.
The 2015 and 2016 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey surveys show 94 per cent of Canadian plan members are generally satisfied with their plans. This number might be optimistically high and not entirely accurate. Two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents said they wish they had more control over their benefits plans compared to 36 per cent who were satisfied with a controlled or traditional design. Yet, 79 per cent of all plans in Canada are traditional, with only 23 per cent of plans having a flexible plan architecture.
It’s not clear whether combination plans, where insured benefits and benefits that are funded by alternative methods (administrative services only, health spending accounts, etc.) comprise a complete plan. This suggests there’s a dichotomy in our collective understanding of what Canadians really want.
Read: Sanofi survey finds low employer satisfaction with benefits for vision, major dental care
Today’s benefits plan sponsors must also recognize and wrestle with the fact that there’s only so much money available. Changing demographics in Canada’s active workforce would suggest it’s time to examine the social contract that exists between employers and employees. What have plans covered in the past? Is this sustainable?
One area of growing concern is the cost associated with rapidly rising paramedical services, which require plan sponsors to pay for services that require little, if any, documented proof of actual medical need. Is this sustainable or even wise?
A 2015 study by Green Shield Canada identified registered massage therapy claims as the fastest rising claim type. The 2015 Sanofi survey provided detailed claims data for all plan members who submitted health claims in that year. Actively claiming plan members submitted, on average, 9.5 claims for drugs, 7.3 claims for paramedical services such as registered massage therapy, 3.7 claims for dental and 2.7 claims for vision benefits.
Read: What is driving the rising demand for paramedical services?
Diving more deeply into these numbers, registered massage therapy represents 57 per cent of all paramedical services claims, followed by chiropractic and physiotherapy. The age profile — 68 per cent of claimants are 18-34 — suggests registered massage therapy can be considered a lifestyle benefit.
What does this all mean?
If the millennial workforce is the fastest growing segment of the market, and millennials and plan family members of millennial age and younger are submitting the largest number of paramedical (primarily registered massage therapy) claims then it must be because there’s demand. Millennials don’t see themselves as needing drug benefits and place little value on that benefit. Because of this, many have maximized whatever value they can from the other elements of their plans. This in turn puts pressure on traditional plans.
What can we do?
In the past, many plan sponsors required a doctor’s note for members seeking paramedical services. Today, fewer carriers are asking for these medical referrals. The motivation for this seems to be that getting approval is a fait accompli and an inconvenience. Doctors will generally issue a medical note on request, recognizing paramedical services are usually beneficial for patients, even if they aren’t a medical necessity.
Some carriers and sponsors are considering longer-term qualification periods for benefits (i.e. 10 initial visits paid at $10 each and then 100 per cent coverage to a maximum of $500 for each service). The idea is to weed out the recreational user and provide services for those who truly require chronic or therapeutic care. Other carriers are installing new cost-control measures by bundling all paramedical services into one lump-sum allocation and even suggesting a change from per insured coverage to per certificate coverage.
Read: What are the goals of massage therapy as an employee benefit?
This keeps the funding for these services within the core plan and may allow the sponsor to take advantage of more cost-efficient adjudication or cost allowances within insured plans, rather than within health spending accounts, where per-claim adjudication fees may be higher. In either case, these new strategies encourage members to become better consumers of health care.
Larger organizations may consider installing flexible plans where members can choose the benefits they want from a cafeteria-style menu or modular programs that bundle benefits like the offerings from your phone, television or internet provider. These programs strongly appeal to millennials but aren’t entirely risk-free because they can quickly go into deficit if not managed properly.
Put simply, the demands for flexibility are making the industry question traditional approaches.
New hybrid benefits plan models are being introduced through third-party administrators that are carving out the drug benefit as a fully insured benefit and combining it with an ASO-funding model for non-drug extended health and dental coverage. Life, long-term disability and perhaps other benefits, such as critical illness and accidental death and dismemberment, would be offered as traditional insured coverage. These new models offer additional opportunities to provide sustainable funding for paramedical claims without surprises at year end.
Read: The appeal of ASO plans
Today, more than ever, plan sponsors — especially small- and medium-sized companies — need to consider many factors when choosing a benefits plan, challenge conventional wisdom and disrupt the status quo. They will need to decide whether to stay with a traditionally designed defined benefit plan, move to a defined contribution style of benefits plan — for example, an ASO plan with hard limits and plan caps — or choose a hybrid solution by adopting one of the new paramedical claims’ cost-control measures now being offered.
Change is hard and demographics are playing a greater role in the way we need to consider the design of benefits plans. As recent Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan once said, “The times they are a changin’.” It’s time we changed with them.
Bob Carter Bob Carter is regional vice-president, sales -- specialty programs at Empire Life. These are the views of the author and not necessarily those of Benefits Canada.
Lisa Kiplinger , USA TODAY5:43 p.m. EST November 17, 2016
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were created in 2003 so that individuals covered by high-deductible health plans could receive tax-preferred treatment of money saved for medical expenses. Video provided by TheStreet Newslook
Spending money on health care isn't fun, but there is a way many of us can get a nice break on the price thanks to triple-strong tax breaks of health savings accounts. Stephen Neeleman — founder of HealthEquity, a group that services 2.3 million such accounts at more than 33,000 companies — sheds some light on how to reap the benefits.
Q: What are HSAs?
A: An HSA (health savings account) is a tax-advantaged savings account that belongs to the account holder. If an account holder changes jobs, the account and money stay with them, just like a personal bank account. HSAs are always paired with a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP). HSAs can reduce your adjusted gross income and lower taxable income. In most states, HSA funds earn interest tax-free. Funds roll over year to year and can be used with Medicare after retirement for qualified medical expenses.
Stephen Neeleman is founder and vice chairman of HealthEquity. (Photo: HealthEquity)
STORY FROM THE MOTLEY FOOL
The surprising way some retirees over 50 are earning income
Q: What's new about HSAs?
A: The IRS is increasing the annual HSA contribution limit from $3,350 in 2016 to $3,400 in 2017 for individuals with single coverage, while the family coverage amount is staying the same at $6,750. And starting in 2016 veterans became eligible in certain circumstances to contribute to an HSA.
Q: How do they save consumers money?
A: HSAs are paired with a high-deductible health plan, which often has a lower premium than a traditional plan. Some of the money you would have otherwise spent on premiums can go into an HSA instead. It allows consumers to save pretax money and withdraw it tax-free when it is spent on qualified medical expenses.
Bronze, silver, gold: Which health insurance tier best buy for you?
Q: What are the most common things consumers use them for?
A: Consumers can use an HSA to cover insurance deductibles and qualified health care expenses.
Q: I understand you can use them to pay for some surprising things like gym memberships. How does that work?
A: With a letter of medical necessity from a doctor, expenses like gym memberships or even a mattress can be recommended to treat a specific medical condition and would be considered a qualified medical expense.
Q: What about for stress reduction?
A: If stress is causing other diagnosed medical conditions, treatments may be paid for with an HSA with a letter of medical necessity from a doctor. Improvement of mental health or relief of stress is generally not covered. For example, the costs of a massage just to improve general health do not qualify. However, if the massage therapy is recommended by a physician to treat a specific injury or trauma, then it would qualify with a letter of medical necessity.
Q: Can you use them to pay for your Medicare premiums?
A: Members can use an HSA to pay for Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket expenses that include deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance, including: hospital and inpatient services, physician and outpatient services, Medicare HMO and PPO plans and prescription drugs.
5 blunders to avoid when enrolling for benefits at work
Q: What's one thing consumers need to know to make sure they get the most out of their HSAs?
A: HSA funds do not expire at the end of the year. They continue to roll over and grow, and you own them when you leave your employer. At the age of 65, consumers can withdraw the money for non-qualified medical expenses and pay income tax similar to a traditional IRA distribution.
What you can spend HSAs onHere are some of the items one can purchase with an HSA account. For a comprehensive list of qualified expenses and commentary on potentially qualifying items, visit HealthEquity.com/qme.
Cobra premiums. In the case you lose your job or transition to a new one, HSA funds can be used to pay for Cobra coverage.
Acupuncture. Members can include in medical expenses the amount paid for acupuncture.
Dental. What members pay for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease is a covered expense. Preventive treatment includes the services of a dental hygienist or dentist for such procedures as teeth cleaning, the application of sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. Treatments to alleviate dental disease include services of a dentist for procedures such as X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures and other dental ailments.
Vision. Eye exams are covered, as well as eyeglasses and contact lenses needed for medical reasons. In addition, eye surgery to treat defective vision, such as laser eye surgery or radial keratotomy, is a covered expense.
Alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment at a therapeutic center for alcohol or drug addiction, including meals and lodging, are covered. Members can also include in medical expenses amounts paid for transportation to and from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the community if the attendance is necessary for treatment.
Weight loss. Amounts paid to lose weight if it is a treatment for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician (such as obesity, hypertension or heart disease) are covered. Those include fees for membership in a weight-reduction group. However, members can't include membership dues in a gym, health club or spa as medical expenses, but are able to include separate fees charged there for weight-loss activities. Members can't include the cost of diet foods or beverages in medical expenses because the foods and drinks substitute for what is normally consumed to satisfy nutritional needs. You can include the cost of special food in medical expenses only if:
A review conducted by the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) found that complementary therapies such as yoga, massage therapy, and acupuncture have high potential for managing chronic pain.
The review included evidence from randomized, controlled clinical trials from 1996 to March 2016. The researchers gathered evidence on the efficacy, effectiveness, and safety of seven widely used alternative therapies or groups of therapies: acupuncture; spinal or osteopathic manipulation; massage therapy; tai chi; yoga; relaxation techniques including meditation; and selected natural product supplements.
Researchers found the following approaches resulted in more positive than negative outcomes for helping people manage chronic pain conditions: